While a rose by any other name, would smell the same, my color is the only thing the queen of our family and I share. Perhaps not. Like her thorn, I can be sour yet like her scented petals I can be sweet. We sweeties prevail, with about 900 varieties as compared to the 300 sour types. First described by Theophrastus in 300 BC, I was blossoming in all the hot spots along the Mediterranean well before that. How well I remember those early days when the beauty of my spring blossoms would awe the town's folk into a wide-eyed drooling silence. Now they've just come to expect it every year with picnics, my pies, and festivities. That's just the first act, after the blossom comes the fruit. Like Jacob's coat I am the fruit of many colors. While predominantly dark red, I vary in shade from pale to black but also look great in yellow or white. Technically I am a stone fruit and I've often thought we got that name from the effect we have on birds. When our feathered friends get their beaks on our fermented seniors, the result was drunken birds falling to the ground. That definitely rattled our pits. Anyway, you use our different varieties for different reasons. From meat sauces to pies, from drink garnishes to liqueurs, even candied in your fruitcake. I am a good source of potassium, vitamin A, as well as providing fiber. Just try eating me out of hand and see if you can stop. Bet ya can't eat just 100.


1014 Produce Quiz courtesy of:
Richard Leibowitz
Culinary Specialty Produce
"We Follow Orders"

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The answer to last week's quiz: MANGOSTEEN
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